Retirement Rebels: Sigrid Macdonald

by | Mar 11, 2020

I’m delighted to be able to introduce my next Retirement Rebel to you. She’s the third in my series of interviews with trailblazing individuals I’ve met on my Retirement Rebellion journey. And like John and Bob from my previous blogs, she is certainly not following the crowd. 

My ‘rebels’ all answer the same quick-fire questions, and we’re getting some intriguing and often hilarious responses. Have a look back at my other interviews and read about how people have found a life of purpose at retirement age: something that I can help you do too.

Sigrid Macdonald, this month's Retirement RebelThis month we welcome Sigrid Macdonald from New Jersey, author of, amongst other books, Finding Lisa, as well as owner of Book Magic. A true rebel!

If you’re similarly rebellious, and you’d like to be part of this series yourself, email me at [email protected].

Do you consider yourself retired – and if not, why not?

No, I am not retired: I am the owner and founder of an editing and manuscript evaluation company. I work part-time.

How do your thoughts on retirement differ from most people – in other words, what makes you a retirement rebel?

I think that the magic number 65 made sense 50 years ago when people didn’t live as long as they do today. It may also still make sense for people involved with manual labour or those who no longer like their jobs and can’t wait to get out when they are 60 or 65. Otherwise, if you enjoy what you do, I don’t think that you ever have to stop based on some arbitrary number.

I take my cues from Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Mick Jagger: drag me off stage when I break a bone by flying in the air, overwhelmed with passion for my work.

Do you have a typical day? What does it look like?

I’m a night owl so I usually go to bed around midnight or 1am. That means I am not an early riser. I get up late, have 2 cups of coffee and watch the news or listen to a podcast. I spend part of the day doing chores, going to the gym, making phone calls, or seeing friends and family. Then I do my work after dinner when I get a second wind.

What’s been your proudest moment since you turned 50?

Starting my company at the age of 52!

Do you have a favourite quote that inspires you?

“The only way out is through,” by Fritz Perls, a psychologist.

What’s your favourite social media channel, and what was the last thing you posted on it?

I guess it would have to be Facebook although I don’t spend much time there, but I just posted ‘Happy Birthday’ to a friend of mine in Canada a few minutes ago. I love that aspect of Facebook that I can keep in touch with friends from high school and throughout my life with little chitchats.

If you could tell your 18 year old self one thing, what would it be?

Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes. If you take a wrong turn in the road, turn around, or forge a new path and don’t look back.

When did you last belly-laugh, and what was it about?

Watching Scrubs. It’s hilarious. I also like the dramedy/musical TV series called Glee: very funny and musically entertaining. Glee has some phenomenal actors/singers who starred on Broadway like Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff.

Do you have any regrets?

Of course, don’t we all? But I don’t spend much time thinking about them because I can’t change the past. I’m pretty much laser-focused on today and tomorrow because that’s the only time I have any control over.

What are your aspirations for retirement – and above all, what do you wish to be remembered for?

I’m not sure that I’m ever going to officially ‘retire’, if it means not working at all. I have a great passion for my work as an editor and I enjoy helping people bring their dreams of becoming a writer to fruition. Maybe someday I will change my mind, but right now I don’t see that happening…

I would like to be remembered as someone who was kind, thoughtful, and made a difference to somebody else’s life. The Dalai Lama once said, “Kindness is my religion.” I’ll second that.

George Jerjian
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